Sunday, 3 May 2009

The Sound of the Musicals

Greasepaint Productions put on a sell out show at the St. Mary's Hall in Buncrana this week. The director Donal Henderson managed to bring together a very large cast to critical acclaim.



The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30years. In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkey liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.

An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too.

The scientists observed that other monkeys gradually picked up this new behaviour. Over six years all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes. Some adults learned this new skill through their children and others kept on eating the dirty sweet potatoes.

Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes — the exact number is not known. Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let's further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes.


By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!

A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that this habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea...Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes.

So, just remember, if we are trying out a new positive ways of being and achieving a new awareness, when our numbers reach critical mass, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.


Mary Margaret (Maggie) McDaid lives in Clonmany with her husband of 14 years, Bernard who runs B. McDaid PVC guttering. They have two children, Aoife and Adam. Mary is busy running Glenview Boarding Kennels in the town which she set up seven years ago. As well as housing dogs, Mary runs dog training classes. There are agility classes, puppy classes -with a new puppy class starting on Wednesday the 13th of May. You can start to train pups from a couple of months and talking of pups Mary has a new addition to the family. A cute 8 week old Rottweiler called Jackson

Mary also takes part in dog shows around the country and is off to Dublin to compete in the Rottweiler Show in Swords. Later in the year she is looking forward to running the dog show at the sheepdog trails at the Clonmany festival in August.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
I could live without music. I don’t really have it on in the house and don’t mind the quiet. I do sometimes catch a nice tune on the television though.

What book are you reading?
I am reading a book by Cesar Millan, the dog behaviour specialist called The Dog Whisperer. It’s great. If I had half on the knowledge he had about dog behaviour…..

What was your favourite childhood game?
Anything to do with running. There were lots of good playground running games.

Have you been to the cinema recently, what did you see and was it any good?
I went to see Hotel For Dogs with the children recently. It’s about two kids who secretly take in nine stray dogs in an old house. I enjoyed it. Marley and Me was on at the same time but everyone who came out of the that film were crying, it looked too sad. We also went to see Beverly Hills Chihuahua with Drew Barrymore

What section of the newspaper do you turn to first?
I am very conventional, I start at the front page and work my way though it.

What would you never throw away?
Certain children’s toys. They are more memories for me than the children though. My sister thinks that I am a bit daft but I hang onto things like teddy bears and certain baby clothes. I also keep the collars from my dogs, they always come in handy as hand me down’s and it’s a reminder of how small the dogs used to be..

Most embarrassing moment of your life?
I haven’t really been embarrassed for a long time. I am more uncomfortable with situations where I am centre of attention such as when I got married. I’m happy being the centre of attention when I am running a course on dog training or a show

Favourite TV programme?
CSI Miami and CSI New York. They are both brilliant. I always enjoy murder mysteries and suspense, even in the newspapers if there is a gripping story, I’m hooked.

What job did you want to do when you were a child?
I wanted to be a vet but was a bit eager to get out and start earning money so didn’t study. I have carried on studies recently though and I am doing an animal behaviour course.

Where was your best holiday and what made it special?
I went to Portugal last year with the family. My sister Noreen and her two children came too. It was a holiday to remember, especially swimming with the dolphins at Zoomarine.

What famous people would you invite around for dinner and why?
Cesar Millan for his knowledge and David Caruso, the actor who plays Horatio Kaine from CSI Miami, he can stay in character for me though.

What do you do for a special treat?
I go out with Bernard for a meal. Bernard and I tend to do most things together, it makes it more fun.

Favourite animal?
Dogs…..I was brought up with them although the dogs from my childhood were working dogs that were kept outside. Both Bernard and I are mad about dogs and we have seven. 3 Rottweilers, 3 Siberian Huskies and an Alaskan Malmute.

Biggest thrill?
Taking my puppy Rottweiler, Hannah to her first dog show in Dublin. She came second in the category event.

Biggest Challenge?
Getting the kennels up and running. It took a long time getting information together for the design of the buildings where the dogs are kept. They had to be designed well for the comfort and practicality.

What was the last thing you bought just for yourself?
A can of Red Bull. I limit myself to two cans a day and don’t have one before 11am. I don’t drink tea or coffee so they keep me going when the energy levels drop

What charities do you support?
We have a guide dogs for the blind box in the kennels and I also support CHAPS (Claws, Hoofs and Paws Protection Society started by Liz…. in Donegal. She does great work re-homing dogs and we had a great day out at Culdaff beach on Easter Monday walking dogs to raise money for the charity. There will be another one soon.

The world’s most irritating/most useful invention?
The mobile phone for both…

Best birthday present?
Bernard bought me a locket with Adam’s picture in it just after he was born. I burst out crying when he gave it to me. It must have been the hormones…

Favourite past-time?
I enjoy taking Hannah to the beach in the daytime with Storm, our older dog. We have fun racing the huskies too. We have a cart with harnesses for the dogs and the kids think it’s great to be pulled along by their family pets.

Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
I’m happy in the present.

What do you have for breakfast?
Cereal and corn flakes.

Do you have a favourite cartoon character?
There are loads of good cartoon characters on the television. The best one has to be Homer from the Simpson’s. He is so hapless.

What was your first paid job?
I worked at JB’s factory in Carndonagh making ladies blouses. I stayed there for eleven years before the company was shut down and I was made redundant. I went on a FAS course after this to do accounting and payroll, which I enjoyed, but didn’t like it when I had to work in an office. It motivated me to concentrate on setting up the kennels.

Best/worst household task?
Ironing has to be the worst. I love sweeping the floors. There can be dishes piled up to the ceiling but as long as the floor is clean it doesn’t bother me. It’s not easy with dogs though.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
My mum and dad always say to do your best, that’s all you can do….

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